Hospital employee gets 10K settlement, apology from union in religious discrimination case

Union member reached settlement over religious discrimination due to abortion funding

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A hospital employee at Fort Campbell, Tennessee, successfully reached a settlement with her labor union after being pressured to pay dues that would fund practices against her religious beliefs.

Former Blanchfield Army Community Hospital employee Dorothy Frame filed the legal complaint against the International Laborers Union in November 2019, citing the union's refusal to accept her religious exemption to paying union dues. Frame said paying the dues would violate her religious conscious as the funds were connected to the hospital's abortion practice.

"Ms. Frame believes that abortion is a grave sin," her lawsuit detailed. "She believes joining or financially supporting the Unions would make her complicit in that sin because she believes that the Unions support and promote abortion. Thus, she believes that any money the Unions collect from her makes her complicit in sin and violates her religious beliefs."

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Frame first voiced her request for exemption in 2019 via a letter to union officials, who dismissed her claim of religious exemption. Frame included a testimony from a parish priest to no effect. Instead, union lawyers attempted to correct Frame and her priest on their religion's teachings, according to her lawsuit.

After an extensive legal process, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sent Frame a letter granting her right to sue and the case went federal, with union officials eventually agreeing to settle with $10,000 in damages.

Frame also received a letter from the union lawyer's office apologizing for questioning the "bona fides" of her faith.

"I knew in my heart and in my soul that I was right," Frame said about the successful conclusion of her case. "This is one of the greatest things that I’ve ever done in my life. It was hard; it was so hard."

"Despite being targeted with years of bullying and discrimination by LIUNA officials, Ms. Frame refused to forsake her religious beliefs and stood firm for her rights," commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. "She has now prevailed decisively against LIUNA’s illegal attempt to force her to choose between remaining true to her beliefs and staying employed."

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The Arizona State Legislature passed legislation Thursday that bans abortion after 15 weeks, gender reassignment surgeries for minors and transgender students playing on sports teams that aligns with their gender identity.

In a vote along party lines, the state House voted in favor of a bill that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, echoing a Mississippi law now before the Supreme Court.

The abortion ban bill clarifies that it does not overrule a previous state law in place for more than a century that would ban abortion completely if Roe v. Wade is overturned.